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Your Life: TRAVEL: Current thinking; GREAT CRUISE DEALS FOR SAIL.

FINDING it hard to get out of bed on these cold mornings? Well, imagine waking up to sun streaming through the window.

And, instead of that familiar grey outside, a new horizon every day.

That's right, you're on a cruise.

Slip on your flip-flops and pad down to breakfast, then pick up your camera and take a shore excursion. Or simply lounge around the deck all day until it's time for drinks, dinner and a top-class show.

There are some hot deals out there at the moment, including all meals and entertainment on board.

For further information, visit the Passenger Shipping Association's website www.discover-cruises.co.uk

SING LIKE A CANARY

A CANARY Islands cruise with 60s and 70s tribute bands departs Southampton on December 3 for a two-week cruise with Fred Olsen on board Black Watch.

Ports of call include Lisbon, Agadir, Arrecife, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz and Funchal. The pounds 1,100 per person price (was pounds 2,200) includes 13 nights' full-board and taxes.

Or the cruise ship Black Prince has a cruise to the Canary Islands from Southampton, departing January 6 for 14 nights.

Early special discount on cabin grades A-J, with prices starting from pounds 755 per person. Islands visited include Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife and Lanzarote as well as a visit to Casablanca in Morocco.

www.FredOlsenCruises.co.uk or call 01473 742424.

HOUSTON, NO

PROBLEM

SPEND a night in Houston, Texas, before sailing with Norwegian Cruise Lines around the Gulf of Mexico for a week, calling at Belize, Cancun and the Scuba island of Cozumel.

Departs January 6 and includes return flights from London (with free regional connections). Prices start from pounds 889 per person.

Or have a three-night break in a Miami hotel before cruising the Bahamas and East Caribbean islands of Tortola and St Thomas for a week. Departs January 18 and costs from pounds 999 per person, including return flights. www.uk.ncl. com or call 0845 658 8010.

COCONUT CREAM

TAKE a seven-night Coral And Coconuts cruise with Ocean Village - a fairly laid-back outfit - departing December 20 from just pounds 1,189 per person for an inside cabin.

The trip leaves Barbados and sails on to Tortola, St Maarten, St Kitts, St Lucia and Maryreau. The price includes flights from Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham.

Or take two weeks off for a 14-night "stay and cruise" option, departing December 13 from pounds 1,149 per person. You'll get one week at the four-star Accra Beach Hotel in Barbados followed by the cruise. Call 0845 358 5000 or visit www.oceanvillage holidays.co.uk

RED SAILS IN

FUNSET

CRUISE the Red Sea with the Thomson Spirit, departing December 1. The week-long cruise includes trips to Egypt's Red Sea Riviera, Jordan (Petra), Port Suez (Cairo) and Safaga (Luxor).

From pounds 399 per person, including flights, transfers and full-board accommodation, based on a standard inside cabin. Or sail off on the Thomson Celebration to the Canaries - calling at Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Morocco, Lanzarote - for just pounds 479 per person for the week departing December 9.

Flights included. www.thomson-cruises.co.uk or call 0870 550 2562.

EARLY TO MED

BOOK early for a seven-night Mediterranean cruise on the Island Star with Island Cruises, departing London Gatwick on April 15 - and get seven nights half-board at the four-star Ola Vistamar Hotel, in Porto Colom, Majorca, free.

Prices start from pounds 799pp, saving pounds 250. This includes return flights to Palma, Majorca, return transfers, with full-board accommodation and entertainment programme plus the week's hotel deal.

Cruise ports include Ajaccio, Corsica, Civitavecchia for Rome, Portofino, Nice and Mahon, Menorca.

Call 08707 500414 or visit www.islandcruises.com

PANAMA HAT-TRICK

SPLASH out pounds 1,599 per person (virtually half the brochure price) on a once-in-a-lifetime South American adventure this Christmas on Orient Lines' Marco Polo.

Sail through the Caribbean, down the Panama Canal to the Lost City of the Incas in Peru, the Atacama Desert, the artisan markets of Lima and the architectural beauty of Coquimbo in Chile.

Departing December 6, the cruise calls at: Bridgetown (Barbados), Willemstad (Curacao), Oranjestad (Aruba), Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), daylight transit of Panama Canal, Manta (Ecuador), Salaverry (Peru), Callao (Peru), Arica (Chile), Iquique (Chile), Coquimbo (Chile) and Valparaiso (Santiago).

The price includes 18 nights on board, including meals and entertainment and free scheduled

flights and regional connections (subject to availability and schedules). Visit www.orientlines.co.uk or call 0845 658 8050.

CHRISTMAS CRACKER

COSTA Cruises offers a Christmas cruise with flights from Manchester from just pounds 695 per person instead of the brochure price of pounds 950.

And those who book now, while the reduced price is still available, will also be treated to on-board perks, including 25 per cent off spa and beauty treatments and discounted drinks.

The seven-night Mediterranean cruise on Costa Europa departs December 20 and the price includes direct flights to Italy from Manchester, taxes, transfers and all gala Christmas meals and entertainment on board.

The cruise calls at Civitavecchia (for Rome), Messina in Sicily, Valletta (Malta), Tripoli (Libya) and Tunis in Tunisia. Call 020 7940 4499 or visit www. costacruises.co.uk

NORSE POWER

NORWEGIAN Coastal Voyage has introduced a range of "themed voyages" for 2006 with experts and lecturers on board who make the whole trip more interactive and educational.

Themes available include the music of composer Edvard Grieg, a Norwegian Viking voyage and birdwatching along the Nordic coast with local guides.

Prices start from pounds 1,230 per person for a one-week Norwegian Maritime Traditions-themed voyage on April 12, including full-board accommodation on the ship, lecturer, transfers and taxes.

Call 020 8846 2666 or visit www.norwegian coastalvoyage.com

CAPTION(S):

GET IN LINER: Combine a short stay in Miami with a cruise; CORAL BRIEF: Take a trip to St Lucia; ROMIN' AROUND: Piazza Navona; MALT-EASER: Port of Valletta
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2005
Words:979
Previous Article:Your Life: TRAVEL : LATE DEALS.
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